Monthly Archives: December 2020

NFL odds roundup: Week 17 lines & trends

Odds courtesy of

Rather amazingly, the NFL is going to be able to complete its full regular season during a coronavirus pandemic, something that Major League Baseball, the NBA or NHL couldn’t do. Week 17 is upon us, meaning every game is played Sunday and is an intradivisional matchup.

Some spreads will look a bit unusual this week where perhaps an inferior team is favored over a clearly better one. That’s because some playoff-bound teams have nothing to play for and likely will rest starters. For example, when the Los Angeles Chargers visit the Kansas City Chiefs.

Kansas City has wrapped up the top seed in the AFC, and Coach Andy Reid already has acknowledged he’s going to rest some key guys – a list that starts with quarterback Patrick Mahomes. It concludes a fabulous season for Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, who should win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Los Angeles is a 3.5-point favorite despite winning just once in the past 13 in the series.

China’s November lottery sales a case of up and down

China’s lottery market took both forward and backward steps in November, with the welfare lottery segment largely to blame for the backward movement. 

Figures released Thursday by China’s Ministry of Finance show nationwide lottery sales of RMB36b (US$5.5b) in November, a 17.2% rise from October’s total but a 4.6% decline from the same month last year, showing that the market has a long way to go to erase the array of negativity the market faced in 2020. 

November’s sports lottery sales were essentially flat year-on-year, falling only 0.2% to RMB21b, although that was RMB2.6b better than October’s tally. November’s welfare lottery sales slid 10.1% year-on-year to RMB15b, although this too was up from October’s RMB12.3b. 

For the year-to-date, overall lottery sales are down 22% to RMB297.4b, with sports down 19.4% to RMB168.2b and welfare falling 25% to RMB129.2b. While overall sales enjoyed positive growth in 14 provinces in November, sales over the first 11 months of 2020 were down in 29 Chinese provinces. 

Becky’s Affiliated: 8 COVID-friendly New Year’s resolutions

Here we are, New Year’s Eve, the night we’ve all been waiting for so we can get 2020 over and done with. While we still have a long battle ahead with COVID, we are making a lot of progress as a planet and the future is most certainly looking brighter. As we get ready to welcome 2021 with open arms, here are eight COVID-friendly New Year’s resolutions for you to consider, each one designed to bring a bit more happiness and wellbeing into your life.

Drink less…or not at all

Alcohol does not provide any benefits to our health and wellbeing, yet so many of us choose to drink copious amounts of it. In a time when our health and wellbeing is of upmost importance, consider drinking less (or not at all!) to give your immune system a boost, improve your sleep, shed some LBS, remove some years from your physical appearance, save some money and improve your state of mind. For more on all of this, please tune into our next CA Long Con on January 4th with Lee Davy of 1000 Days Sober, an inspiring conversation on sobriety you won’t want to miss.

Sign up for online yoga classes

Former WSOP Champ Huck Seed Joins the Poker Hall of Fame

Huck Seed, the 1996 WSOP Main Event champ, will be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame as the only member of the 2020 class.

Huck Seed is the newest member of the Poker Hall of Fame. (Image: YouTube)

Seed was one of 10 finalists for the prestigious award. Since 2005, the WSOP has inducted two members each year, until this year. As Ty Stewart explained to CardsChat last month, by limiting the number of members, they increase the prestige of the club.

Seed certainly wasn’t the favorite, but he’s received high praise from the poker community for his honor. That includes Daniel Negreanu, who openly lobbied for Isai Scheinberg, the PokerStars founder.

Sports on Screen: Escape to Victory (1981)

Great sports movies require a few critical elements to be present. They need some bona fide celebrities, someone who can play the sport in question and – possibly most ideally – a brilliant script. 1981’s Escape to Victory arguably has all three in place… but does that make it a great movie?

The film’s title reflects how much the plot owes to The Great Escape, which was released in 1963 and is about prisoners of war escaping from the Germans’ clutches. In Escape to Victory, the Allied prisoners of war attempt to escape the Germans’ clutches when… hang on, that’s exactly the same idea.

The crucial difference, of course, is football. The Allies don’t go for the same escape route that was blundered by Steve McQueen et al. Instead, they centre their attempts (or perhaps centre-half might be more appropriate) on an escape during a football match. Organised from a rabble into a rousing football team, the squad rely on the coaching and captaincy of two army Captains, Hatch and Colby, who are played by Sly Stallone and Michael Caine respectively.

With the Allied team due to escape the PoW camp at half-time in the game that has been arranged against their German captors, when half-time arrives they are unjustly 4-1 down. Quite against logic, they decide to play on during the second half (“But we can win this!”) and go on the attack in order to try to win the game.

Bookmakers groan as Putin signs betting overhaul legislation

Russian President Vladimir Putin has officially signed legislation calling for a dramatic overhaul of the country’s online sports betting market. 

On Wednesday, Putin signed a raft of laws imposing stricter oversight of Russia’s internet, including authorizing the Roskomnadzor telecom watchdog to block online resources deemed to be ‘discriminating’ against Russian media (aka Facebook, Twitter and YouTube), while also requiring biometric information from customers seeking to access certain financial and public services. 

But for Russian bookmakers, the focus was on Putin signing a bill that lawmakers approved earlier this week calling for the creation of a Unified Gambling Regulator and the abolition of the two Self-Regulatory Organizations (SROs) that previously represented locally licensed betting interests. 

The bill also calls for the establishment of a single centralized payment processing hub, through which all Russian online betting must flow. This hub will replace the two existing payment hubs run by the two rival SROs, and will be controlled by a single private company.